What are Common Causes of Bone and Joint Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Arthritis is the most common cause of bone and joint pain, and it is certainly the most well recognized. Other types of bone and joint pain exist, however, and many such pains are the result of a direct trauma, a degenerative disease, or loss of bone mass that results in bone fractures. Cancer, too, can spread to the bones, causing pain in any part of the body. In many cases, bone and joint pain can be treated with adequate rest, exercise, and physical therapy, but in more severe cases, attention from a doctor will be necessary. Each type of bone and joint pain will require its own specific set of steps to solve the problem.

As humans age, the ligaments that connect the bones in a joint can wear out and break down. This degradation allows the bones to move in ways they are not meant to move. Eventually, the bones may rub against each other, causing painful bone spurs that can cause bone and joint pain. This wearing of the joints is called arthritis, and in most cases, the condition will worsen over time despite preventative efforts. Exercise, medication, and other preventative measures can slow the advancement of arthritis, but for many sufferers, treatment involves pain management rather than actual healing. Arthritis becomes more common as a person ages.


Fractures and breaks in bones can also lead to moderate to severe bone and joint pain. These injuries most commonly occur as a result of a direct trauma from a fall or impact, and they are more likely among osteoporosis sufferers. Osteoporosis occurs when bones begin to lose mass, thereby making them weaker and more susceptible to breaks and fractures. While osteoporosis can occur in men, it is exponentially more likely to occur in women. This bone disease can be treated with certain medications and chemicals, and a change in diet and daily habits is almost always necessary to prevent injury and help stall bone loss.

A variety of cancers can spread to the bones, causing bone and joint pain. Cases in which the pain is isolated to one area may be alleviated by removing the cancer from that portion of bone, but in more severe cases, more aggressive chemotherapy and surgery may be necessary. The presence of cancer in the bones can weaken the bones substantially, making the bones susceptible to further injury such as fractures. Keeping that area of bone immobile during treatment can help ease pain and prevent further injury.



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